Washington—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten released the following statement on passage of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act by the U.S. House of Representatives.
"Violence against women, regardless of their background or sexual orientation, must be condemned in all forms at all times, and its prevention must be a high priority in our country. Today marks an important victory in the fight to end violence against all women, and I applaud the House on its bipartisan vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act with the expanded protections intact for gay and lesbian victims, immigrants in fear of deportation, as well as Native Americans.
"This legislation is vital to helping not only victims who seek safety and protection from their spouses or intimate partners, but also family members and communities affected by domestic violence. Children exposed to violence stand a greater chance of attempting suicide and abusing drugs and alcohol; and domestic violence costs U.S. communities billions annually in medical expenses, lost earnings, and a diminished quality of life for those affected by these crimes.
"Now, the Violence Against Women Act's indisputable record of effectiveness in reducing incidents of domestic violence not only can continue, but even grow, thanks to the expanded protections contained in this bill. Combating violence of all kinds and making our communities safe must be priorities in the 113th Congress, and the bipartisan passage of this legislation by the House is an important step toward reaching that goal."